Ćorkan and the German Lady

The story published in 1921 can be seen as an enlarged episode of the novel "The Bridge on the Drina". Its protagonist Ćorkan, general scapegoat in Višegrad, a figure of fun who himself joins in the mockery. In this story he is shown obsessively pursuing an obviously unattainable ideal, in much the same way as Alija Đerzelez. The light and humorous tone of the story reflects Ćorkan’s personality. The object of his obsession is physically inaccessible: a tightrope walker in an Austrian circus company visiting Višegrad. The chaos caused by the circus eventually results in Ćorkan’s receiving a beating which seems to be a regular occurrence, having more to do with relieving the feelings of the official inflicting the punishment than the extent of the crime. When his wounds have healed Ćorkan emerges from the hayloft where he crawled to recover, laughing at the way he climbs down the ladder. Ćorkan’s resilience, good humor and spontaneity are always associated with the sun, the central symbol of positive forces in Andrić’s work. Indeed, the character can be seen to have grown out of the role played by the sun in Andrić’s writing.